Books

Harper Lee prize: Finalists named for best legal fiction

Written by The AP Tuesday, 19 May 2015 08:19

Three books have been named as finalists for the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. 

The trio was announced earlier this month by the University of Alabama School of Law and the American Bar Association's magazine ABA Journal.

Stephen King wins mystery award

Written by The AP Friday, 01 May 2015 09:48

Stephen King isn't only a master of horror. He's also a man of mystery.

King and Gillian Flynn were among the winners this week at the 69th annual Edgar Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. King's crime story "Mr. Mercedes" received the best novel prize at the ceremony in midtown Manhattan. King has been an Edgar "Grand Master" since 2007 and his novel "Joyland" was a finalist last year for paperback original. 

Tom Stoppard calls it a ‘frightening time’ for free speech

Written by MARK KENNEDY,
AP Drama Writer
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 16:25

Playwright Tom Stoppard said he will accept PEN’s highest award next month in New York to help put a spotlight on a “frightening time” for free expression.

Stoppard is to accept the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American chapter of the global human-rights organization of writers and editors.

Recommended reading, Earth Day the beginnings

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Saturday, 11 April 2015 13:37

Adam Rome’s "The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation" tells the story of how the first Earth Day in 1970 proved a transformative, monumental event.

And Wisconsin figures prominently in the story.

Argentina capital is bookstore capital of the world

Written by DEBORA REY,
AP writer
Thursday, 14 May 2015 08:42

All across Argentina's capital, lodged between the steakhouses, ice cream shops and pizzerias, is an abundance of something that is becoming scarce in many nations: bookstores.

From hole-in-the-wall joints with used copies of works by Jorge Luis Borges, Miguel de Cervantes and Gabriel Garcia Marquez to elegant buildings with the latest children's books in several languages, Buenos Aires is filled with locales that pay homage to print.

Review: ‘Pleasantville’ has gripping, believable plot

Written by OLINE H. COGDILL,
AP writer
Thursday, 23 April 2015 02:35

The compelling “Pleasantville” continues Attica Locke’s insightful look at African-American life in Houston, where politics, race and classism converge in myriad ways.

Locke sets her third novel in Pleasantville, a Houston neighborhood that was built after World War II specifically for black families “of means and class.” But this new black middle class also began to wield “unexpected political power” as the community became “a bargaining chip to politicians.”

Hugo Awards reflect sci-fi/fantasy divide

Written by HILLEL ITALIE,
AP National Writer
Monday, 20 April 2015 08:16

Call it the invasion of the Sad Puppies.

One of the signature awards of the science fiction/fantasy community, the Hugos, has been ensnared in a fierce debate over the genre’s future, with charges of political correctness and elitism and countercharges of bigotry and dishonesty.

'The Poser' is darkly funny

Written by MICHELLE SCHERAGA,
Associated Press writer
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 05:53

The central character in Jacob Rubin's "The Poser" is a young man with the ability to instantaneously and flawlessly imitate anyone.

Encouraged by his mother and discovered by a hack agent, Giovanni Bernini goes from being ridiculed and, often, feared by his small-town peers to garnering widespread acclaim as The World's Greatest Impressionist. The rest of his arc of fame follows a trajectory at which cynics will knowingly nod, and Rubin's precise and inventive writing wonderfully captures the enigmatic character as he travels this arc as well as the philosophical questions such a character raises.

Madeline Kahn biography goes beyond the laughs

Written by Douglass K. Daniel
AP writer
Saturday, 09 May 2015 04:55

She was delightful in "Paper Moon" and "Blazing Saddles," then uproarious as the monster's tuneful bride in "Young Frankenstein." Yet Madeline Kahn often didn't seem to appreciate her comedic talent, even though it kept her close to the hearts of audiences for three decades.

That's just one of the many sad notes that arise from "Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life," William V. Madison's well-researched and insightful biography of Kahn, once hailed by New York Times critic Vincent Canby as possibly the funniest woman in films. Imagine getting such an accolade if being funny isn't really your goal.

A colorful account of the birth of modern art in Paris

Written by ANN LEVIN,
AP writer
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 19:30

At the dawn of the 20th century the Parisian district of Montmartre was still largely rural, a hillside village dotted with windmills, vineyards and tumbledown shacks.

There, a ragtag band of young artists, many of them foreigners, gravitated to the district’s cheap studios and galleries to nurture their artistic ambitions and, at night, divert themselves at its seedy bars and cabarets.

Nickolas Butler brings literary success stories back to Wisconsin

Written by Maddy Hughes,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 12 April 2015 06:48

Nickolas Butler was inspired to write Shotgun Lovesongswhile homesick for his family in Wisconsin.
— PHOTO: Olive Juice Studios

"Shotgun Lovesongs," Wisconsin native Nickolas Butler’s debut novel, has become a breakout success for the author since its publication in March. The book tells the story of five friends who came of age in a tiny Wisconsin town. They reunite for a wedding and must confront each other’s adult selves.

On the best-seller list
April 7, 2015

Written by The AP Tuesday, 07 April 2015 05:45

Dead Wake by Erik Larson.

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